While the series found some success in its first season, one of the factors that brought the Mighty Ducks back to action will not be returning.
Deadline reports that lead actor Emilio Estevez will not return for season two of The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers. While nothing has been officially released, sources close to Deadline note that show’s Covid vaccination requirement might be a factor.
In the report, Deadline notes that Disney Television Studios’ ABC Signature, which produces the hockey-themed sequel series, decided not to pick up Estevez’s option for Season 2. They state that the studio went back-and-forth with Estevez’s team for weeks about the Covid vaccination requirements.
Like many Disney TV Studios productions, The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers adopted a mandatory vaccination policy for actors and crew put into Zone A. For reference, Zone A is considered “ all actors and crew members who come into direct contact with them.”
With the actor and his reps declining to provide assurances that he would comply with the policy, the studio made the call not to exercise the actor’s option and will move on with the planned early 2022 production. Deadline notes that the show will be “adjusted to continue the story without the character.” On the flip side, sources close to Emilio Estevez state that “creative differences” played a factor in why he won’t be returning.
In the 10-episode season set in present-day Minnesota, the Mighty Ducks have evolved from scrappy underdogs to an ultra-competitive, powerhouse youth hockey team. After 12-year-old Evan Morrow (Brady Noon) is unceremoniously cut from the Ducks, he and his mom, Alex (Lauren Graham), set out to build their own team of misfits to challenge the cutthroat, win-at-all-costs culture of youth sports today. With the help of Gordon Bombay, they rediscover the joys of playing just for love of the game.
The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers will begin production on season two in early 2022.